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you beware of delaying the answer, and of cra largely among mankind in the heathen world, a. ving longer time for your defence, because that mong the pharisaical Jews, and in the Roman plainly betrays you are devising some cunning and church. Yet the wiser, heathen themselves corcounterfeit apology, having no present answer. rected this error, of trusting to ceremonies without Thirdly, That by all means an answer be made ; inoral good works. Plato, for instance, saith, as answer, I say, not a mere confession, or submis that “God loves worshippers, s kyuci seyvelertoes ám sion, but with some sprinklings of an excuse let fall can Price tipārtas cepetliù, not that can artificially comhere and there. For-it is not safe to bear yourself pliment him with gestores and outward shows, but otherwise, unless you have to deal with very ge that in truth, honour, and virtue." But the scripnerous and noble dispositions, which are
ture goes a great deal farther, and teaches us also But then, this answer (which is the second and to add “ faith in God, and in our Lord Jesus principal thing here advised) must be very soft Christ." Moral good works will please God when and temperate, not harsh and peremptory; for done for this end, not that we may merit tbereby that will make the business worse than if it had remission of sin, but that we may be obedient to never been meddled with at all, and increase God, and teach others to know him, and to cele
that wrath which you should study to appease." brate him. And then also ceremonies instituted by Melanchon also, I find, in his short lectures upon this God are pleasing to him, when they are done for
book, commends this lesson very much to his scho this end, not to merit remission, but because they lars; but looks upon it as a general precept for the are signs admonishing us of the promises to stir op preservation of peace, and avoiding unnecessary our faith ; and likewise because they are signa concontentions, which arise out of pride, ambition, fessionis, signs of what religion we profess; and, morosity of nature, emulation, wrath, superstition; lastly, quia sunt nervi congregationis, because they which move wen either to give ill words, or to re are the nerves whereby the congregation of Christurn worse to those that are given them, endeavour tian people are joined together, and preserved in ing to overcome by sharpness and bitterness, not by unity. These true ends, saith he, ought to be unlenity and moderation. And the truth is, the He derstood by the church, and impious opinions to be brew word we translate answer, signifies as well removed. And for such good ends, one would think what is first said, as the reply to it. So that Solo none should question, much less quarrel with those mon here gives this caution, That we should not few ceremonies which our church hath appointed think it enough, not to begin strife and contention ; in God's service. but if others begin it, we should not continue it by That this was his opinion also, appears in his comrough answers, but endeavour to make an end
mentaries upon the soth psalm, where he saith, presently, by mollifying the matter, and yield that «
even human ceremonies are, in some sort, much for the common tranquillity's sake. And he the nerves of discipline ;" and condemns only ihinks it is a precept of the same nature with that those that make them effectual for the remission of of Pythagoras, "Stir not up fire with a sword;" sin. But his mind is delivered most fully in a and commends those excellent verses of Euripides : discourse which I find in the second volume of his
works, concerning “ the method of preaching ;" Δνούν λιγόντων, θατέρα θυμωμένα,
where he directs preachers to tell the people in ge. Ο μη αντλείνων τους λόγοις σοφώτερος.
neral, that “ all ceremonies are not to be aboAnd next to this precept he commends to his scholars lished ;" as appears by this, that then we must
[b] that in ver. 8. which is all that he glosses upon take away baptism and the eucharist. And if any in this chapter ; and thinks it is "a caution against one ask, What must be done with ceremonies insti. resting in ceremonious worship without moral vir tuted by man? he answers, “ Some of them are tue.” Concerning which he says so many things necessary, and therefore must be retained, as ceruseful for these present times, that I cannot but tain days in which the word of God is taught, and here give the sum of them.
certain rites in the church, such as that of singing There are three sorts of works, saith he, mentioned psalms, and certain forms of communicating,” &c.
by the prophets ; concerning ceremonies, and con. But there are others not so necessary; what must be cerning moral virtue, and concerning faith. For done with them? Must: they be tolerated ? He the first of these ceremonies or external signs, God answers, yes; if they be not impious, and if they instituted some for two causes. First, That they be useful ; either because they commend religion should be signs of the promises. Secondly, That to the vulgar, or they are instructive to children, they should be the nerves of the public congregation; for whose sake they were chiefly instituted. N. B. because God would not have his church be hid For we see in some churches, where there are 140 cerein obscurity, but be conspicuous, and discerned from monies left but only the sacraments, that religion was other nations voce et ceremoniis. But here we must never so contemptible as it is now. For there is need prudently consider how ceremonies are to be used, of external show, which may commend religion to because men are prone to false worship, and espe the vulgar, and make it appear more venerable, cially to the abuse of ceremonies, which they take because they cannot of themselves see its magnitude for righteousness, and think thereby to merit re
and dignity. mission of sin; which persuasion spread itself “ It is impious also,” he resolves, “to think that all
ceremonies were instituted by wicked popes." No, was the poorest, and an ox put up into a stall, and there were some prudent and holy men, who per there fatted, (or as the Talmudists understand the ceived how supine and dull the minds of the vulgar phrase, a crammed ox), the noblest entertainment in were, that they would never be sensible of the dig those countries. For it is reckoned among the provi. nity and amplitude of religion, unless their minds sion made for the tables of Solomon and Nehemialı; were both awakened and detained by some reve and in the New Testament, the marriage-provision rend solemn ceremonies, which might help to lift which the king made at his son's wedding, were them up, and teach them to admire it.
"oxen and fatilings,” Matth. xxi. 4. and the fatThese are his reasons why all ceremonies ought not ted calf was brought forth to entertain the return
to be abolished; because some are commanded, ing prodigal, And thus it was in other countries,
little regard to us.
SOFT answer turneth away wrath : but mention two verses more, upon which the before.
grievous words stir up anger.] A mild, named Lord Bacon hath given some touches. submissive, and yielding answer to him who severely [c] The first is ver. 15. where by a merry heart he chides, pacifies wrath, and prevents the further pro
understands a good conscience, (Adv. of Learn. gress of it; but sharp, contemptuous, and saucy-lanb. vii. ch. 1.), and thus glosses: “A mind con- guage, incenses it more, or raises a passion where scious of good intentions, though success be want there was none before.
Sre Arg. [a] ing, affords truer and purer joy, and to nature more Ver. 2. The tongue of the wise useth knowledge ea agreeable than all that this world can furnish a man right; but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.] A withal, either for the enjoyment of his desires, or wise man gives profitable instructions, and understands the repose of his mind." The words, indeed, of also how to speak so seasonably and prudently, that Solomon seem to be larger, and to extend unto all it shall make the knowledge he imparts both accepthat are void of care, anxiety, and sorrow; but table and useful; whereas fools have nothing but silly this is a pious sense, and may well be comprehend. stuff to utter, or pour out their thoughts so indiscreeted in them.
ly and confusedly, that they only serve abundantly to [a] The other place is ver. 9. the beginning of it, declare their folly.
where he hath enlarged the sense further than I Ver. 3. The eyes of the LORD are in every place,
of its own accord, without noise or tumult; but if turb mankind, and like a blighting wind) blasts all
or other superior, whose love is equal to his authori.
but there is much disquiet and trouble in the greatest seeketh knowledge : but the mouth of fools feedeth on revenues of the wicked, which can neither stay long foolishness.] An intelligent man, who is heartily in with him, nor give him satisfaction while he enjoys love with wisdom, greedily seeks for solid knowthem.
ledge; but men void of understanding gape after Ver. 7. The lips of the wise disperse knowledge; but and relish nothing but frivolous, vain, and unprofithe heart of the foolish doth not so.) Wise and good table things, which are like meat and drink unto men are neither envious, not sparing of their pains to them. disperse their knowledge, which they freely com Ver. 15. All the days of the officted are evil: but municate and diligently propagate unto others; but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast.] All evil men
are such fools, that either they have no the days of a poor man are full of anxiety and trouble, thing to impart, or no heart to do any good with what especially if, when any affliction befalls him, he be they have.
discontented with his condition, and cannot bear with Ver. 8. The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to disappointments; but a good heart and chearful spirit the LORD : but the prayer of the upright is his delight.] is a cure for this, especially a mind conscious to itIt is impious to think to please God with mere gifts self of designing well, whatsoever the success prove, and sacrifices, which when they are presented from is a perpetual comfort, and a higher satisfaction than wicked men, who have no thought of amending their the most delicious banquet of the rich and prosperousa lives, are abominable to the divine majesty ; but the See Arg. [c] very prayers of upright men, though they are not Ver. 16. Better is little with the fear of the LORD, able to bring 'him any costly offerings, are exceeding than great treasure, and trouble therewith.) A small acceptable, and prevail for great blessings from him. estate, with the fear of offending the divine majesty See Arg. [b]
by discontent, or any other sin, is much better than Ver. 9. Tke way of the wicked is an abomination to vast treasures, with disquiet and confusion of thoughts, the Lord : but he loveth him that followeth after righ- which (without a religious sense of God) are wont to teousness.] For the whole way of a wicked man, attend upon abundance of wealth. his designs, contrivances, and course of life, are all Ver. 17. Better is a dinner of herbs where Love is, odious and abominable to the Lord, which make than'a stalled ox and hatred therewith.] The meaneven his sacrifices no better ; but he loves him, est fare, with the love of him that invites, and with whose thoughts, affections, and endeavours, are ear. agreement among the guests, is much better than the nestly bent to an unwearied pursuit of piety and most sumptuous entertainment of him that hates us, virtue.
or among those that quarrel and contend, even then Ver. 10. Correction is grievous to him that forsaketh when all differences should be forgotten. See Arg. [e], the way; and be that hateth reproof shall die.] Sharp Ver. 18. A wrathful man stirreth up strife ; but he and grievous punishments shall be inflicted on him that is slow to anger appeasetb strife.] A man prone that forsakes the virtuous path in which he began to to wrath will easily disturb the most peaceable comtread; for he is not easily reclaimed, because it is pany, being apt to quarrel for very trifles; but a unpleasing to him to hear of his faults; and in time meek and patient person is so far from raising strife, he hates reproof, and then must certainly perish. that he will endeavour to compose it, when he finds
Ver. 11. Hell and destruction are before the LORD: it is begun by others. how much more, then, the hearts of the children of men ? ] Ver. 19. The way of the slothful man is as an hedge The Lord is perfectly acquainted with things most of thorns : but the way of the righteous is made plain.] hidden and secret to us, with the grave, the infernal A slothful man, when he hath any thing to do, feigns place, and things perished and quite consumed ; how to himself most grievous difficulties, which he fancies, much more, therefore, with the souls of all men li.. or pretends are impossible to be overcome ; but those ving upon carth, if they have but so much as an inten-' very things seem easy to the industry of honest-hearttion or inclination to depart from him ?
ed men, who go on smoothly in their business, and Ver. 12. A scorner loveth not one that reproveth him: conquer all impediments.. See Arg. [d] neither will be go unto the wise.} A profane man, Ver. 20. A wise son enaketh a glad father ; but a who makes a mock of God and of religion, loves not foolish man despiseth his mother.] A pious son (as hath to argue with himself about such matters, and hates been said before, x. 1. and cannot be repeated too those that reprove him ; which makes him avoid the often) is a great joy to his parents, especially to his acquaintance and society of wise and virtuous men, for father, who hopes he will support his name and fafear he should meet with their reprehension.
mily; but a wicked man is as great a grief unto them, Ver. 13. A merry beart maketh a chearful counte. especially to his mother, (whdse indulgence perhaps nance; but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.]. makes him more irreverent towards her), when he When the mind of a man is inwardly satisfied and bears no regard to her, nay, despises her commands and full of joy, it doth good to his body too, as appears admonitions, and makes her contemptible unto others. in his chearful countenance : but when grief and sor Ver. 21. Folly is joy to him that is destitute of wisrow seizes on the heart, it dejects, enfeebles, and dom : but a man of understanding walketh uprightly.] breaks the most courageous spirit.
.. It is a pleasure (as was also said before, x. 23.) to a. Ver. 14. The beart of him that hath understanding man void of consideration, to do the most absurd and.
wicked things; but he that understands himself, not ness it is to do evil, though they implore his favour; only directs his thoughts, and takes the greatest care to but sends good men lielp, when they pray unto him, live orderly and regularly, but feels it to be his high. as readily as they were wont to send relief to others. est satisfaction.
Ver: 30. The light of the eyes rejoiceth the heart; and Ver. 27. Without counsel, purposes are disappointed : a good report maketh the bones fat.] It is a wonderful but in the multitude of counsellors they are established.] pleasure to behold all the beautiful works of God, The necessity likewise of prudent counsellors is fit which present themselves to our eyes; but nothing again to be repeated, (xi. 14.), for if they be want- gives such intimate satisfaction, and makes a man so ing, the best designs are likely to miscarry; but chearful in well-doing, as to hear a fair report of his where there are a multitude of wise and virtuous men own honest actions, or to receive the good news of consulting for the public good, they will easily com the well-doing of other virtuous men. pass any thing, by, foreseeing all difficulties, and pro Ver. 31. The ear that beareth the reproof of life, viding against them.
among the wise.] He that lends an attentive Ver: 23. A man hath joy by the answer of sis mouth; ear to wholesome reproof, and is obedient to it, is to and a word spoken in due season, how good is it?] And be numbered among the wise, and shall at last be able it is a great pleasure to a man to give wholesome to give good instructions unto others. counsel; and a greater to see the good success of it: Ver. 32. He that rejuseth instruction, despiseth his but the greatest of all, (an inexpressible pleasure), own soul; but he that beureth reproof, getteth understandboth to himself and others, to have given it so sea- ing.) And whosoever he be that refuseth, much sonably, that a business was easily effected by it, more that contemneih, such instructions and reproofs, which had not been done without it.
he sets his own soul at nought, and despiseth the Ver. 24. The way of life is above to the wise, that means of safety ; but he that diligently hearkens to it, be may depart from hell beneath.] The way to be per- knows what is good for himself; and keeps his scul fectly' happy, a truly wise man sees, is io raise his from being lost for want of understanding. thoughts, desires, and hopes, above this earth, and to Ver. 33. The fear of the LORD is the instruction of have respect to God in all his actions ; which will wisdom; and before honour is humility.] A brief inmake him truly noble and great ; and preserve him stitution of wisdom and virtue is this, to have an awboth from all mean and base practices, and from the ful sense of God, with a devout affection to him, and most horrid dangers here, and utter destruction here- fear to offend him; and as this is the best disposition, after.
for wisdoin, so humility and patient submission in Ver. 25. The LORD will destroy the house of the a low condition, is the best preparation for honour proud : but he will establish the border of the widow.] and preferment. Trust not in riches and power, but in the great Lord of the world, who possesses and disposes all things,
CHAP. XVI. for he will overturn the family of haughty men, (who, forgetting him, trample upon their inferiors), though THE ARGUMENT.-[a] This chapter begins with a never so strongly supported; but will preserve the most necessary observation, which a good man ought poor widow, who hath no helper, in her right, when alway to have in his mind, (for which cause it is such insolent persons invade it.
repeated, with little difference, twice more in this Ver. 26. The thoughts of the wicked are an abomina chapter, ver. 9. 33. and again, chap. xix. 21.), the tion to the LORD; but the words of the pure are pleasant sense of which our translation seems to have missed. words.] For the Lord abhors all wicked designs, and For it ascribes both the preparation of the heart mischievous contrivances; but the kind consultations and the answer of the tongue unto the Lord, (which and discourses of such as seek the welfare and com is true in this regard, that without him we can do fort of others, are' no less pleasing to him than they nothing), whereas the Hebrew words run plainly
thus, “ Man hath the disposing of the heart;" he Ver. 27. He that is greedy of gain, troubleth his own may, with God's leave and common assistance, inhouse : but he that kateth gifts shall live.] He that is tend, propound, resolve within himself, what he will so greedy of money, that he cares not how he gets it, say and do ; but that he shall be able to utter things instead of raising his family, confounds it; but he in that order he hath premeditated, or, if he be that hateth bribes, and all unlawful ways of gain, able, shall attain the end of his deliberation, and shall prosper, and continue it.
eloquent speech, is more than he can undertake ; Ver. 28. The heart of the righteous studieth to an for that is as the Lord pleaseth. This seems to me swer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.] to be better opened by Melancthon than ny one I A good man thinks it is soon enough to speak, when have read. Who truly observes, that such sayings he is asked about a business, and deliberates within as these do not take away the liberty of man's will himself to speak nothing that is not to the purpose ; or choice ; but only shew, that even the best men but bad men are rash, and forward to utter their mind, sometimes err in their choice, and that the success and generálly do more hurt than good.
doth not always answer. For we must diligently Ver. 29. The LORD is far from the wicked; but he distinguish, saith he, between our election and the heareth the prayer of the righteous.] The Lord is far success; and remember that we need a double help from giving any regard to the wicked, whose busi of God, for the making a happy choice ; one of
judging right; and the other afterward of govern sayshe, "affirm the whole political order, magistrates, ing events. For unless our judgement be ruled laws, distinction of dominion, contracts, judgements, right, many errors happen ; as we see in Josiah, punishments, to be things ordained by the wisdom Zedekiah, Deinosthenes, Pompey, Cicero; who all of God among men.
And since we know political erred in eligendo bello, in their resolves about war; order to be the work of God, we ought to love it, and direful events followed. And sometimes, als), and study to defend it, and modestly for God's when the mind doth not err in its judgement, yet sake obey it; and give thanks to God who preserves God is not pleased to assist the action, for other it; and look upon those horrible furies of the devil causes; as in the war against the Benjamites, and men, who distarb this order, to be displeasing which miscarried a great while, because the Israe to God; as this whole doctrine is explained, Rom: lites trusted in their own strength. We mast al xiii, But what is this divine sentence which is in ways, therefore, be sensible, that happy events do the king's lips? It is the laws, says be, and judge. not depend merely on human forecast, diligence, ments according to the laws; and, besides, God and power; as Jeremiah speaks, “I know, O Lord, hath armed kings with a power to make laws of that the way of man is not in himself;" i. e. he can their own, not repugnant to his laws, bat built upnot have what success he will, but must be be on them, either by demonstrations or probable reaholden to God for his happiness. This our
God sometimes moves the minds of kings weakness God would have us to acknowledge, and also, and gives them singular motions, (as other to fear and depend on him; as it follows here, excellent artificers have), because he will by that ver. 3. “Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy save mankind, &c. Thus it was a singular motion thoughts shall be established." To this use we ought in Solomon's reasoning about the mother of the child. to accommodate such sayings as these, not to a And in the judgement of Conzaga, in the last age, stoical opinion of necessity. Thus he.
upon the Spanish governor of Milan under him ; [b] And he no less worthily glosses upon the com who having held a noble person captive a long
mon interpretation of ver. 4. the latter part of which time, would not deliver him to his wife, (when she hath exercised many pens to little purpose, when petitioned and offered a large sum of money for his the sense is clear, thongh no expositor, that I have redemption), unless he might lie with her; and seen, hath hit upon it, viz. that God makes some after he had obtained his desire, then caused her use of wicked men, as well as of all things else ; husband to be killed, and delivered him dead to which they shall serve whether they will or no. her. Which when Gonzaga heard, and had exaFor he disposes (so the word we translate bath mined, he compelled him to marry this woman; made is to be understood, not of his creating things) and as soon as he had done that, he condemned all things correspondent to his own will and plea him to be immediately beheaded, and gave her all sure, which they all obey. So Lammaanthu seems his estate." to be best translated, not for himself, but according But we are not from such places as this to infer, that to his '
will. However, I have included the other kings cannot give a wrong jedgement; tħough this interpretation also in my paraphrase ; but applied be as good a conclusion as from those words, “the the day of evil, not to the punishment which he in priest's lips shall preserve knowledge,” to conclude flicts upon the wicked for their sins, but which he the pope cannot err. Kings, from this place of orders them to inflict upon others, when their iniqui Solomon, may as well pretend to infallibility, as ties are ripe for his vengeance. For it is the me priests from that place of Malachi ; nay, if we rethod of his providence, to direct the ambition, wrath, spect either the form of this precept, or the plenihatred, revenge, &c, which he sees in some wicked tude of God's promise for ability to perform it, we inen's hearts, to vent themselves there, where it will must confess this place is more plain and perempdo service to him. Who wisely and justly makes tory for kings, than any can be brought for the some wicked men do execution upon others like High Priest's infallibility in giving definitive senthemselves. This seems to me the most easy and tence. And yet all the places, (as a famous divine natural sense of the words; which were remarkably of our own speaks, Dr Jackson, b. iii. upon the fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem by the Ro Creed, ch. 12.), that can be brought, either for man soldiers, whom our Saviour used to punish his the king's or the priest's authority, rather shew crucifiers. Not that they undertook that war, out what-manner of men they should be, both in life of any design or desire to do our blessed Saviour
and judgement, than assure them of any infallibili. right, but out of an ambition to enslave the ty of judgement, if they be dissolute in life, and world, έχρητος αυτούς όμως ο Θεός ας δημίοις δι αυτό της regard not the laws of God. This was a thing ησέβηκοτας κολάζων; yet God made use of them for other never dreamt of by any, till the notoriously infadesigns, as public executioners, by whow he punish mous lives of popes discredited the titles of sarictity ed the ungodly, as Theodoret speaks, upon Psal. and infallibility, (which from the conceit of their
predetessors' integrity they had usurped), and en[c] I must omit Melancthon's glosses upon this verse, forced their flatterers to frame a distinction of
and the two next; that I may have room for his sanctity in doctrine, separated from sanctity of pertinent observation upon ver. ro. “ A divine sen life. tence is in the lips of the king,” &c. “These words," I thought it not amiss to say thus much upon the sub